Monday, October 25, 2010

By the Pricking of My Thumbs....

By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.

William Shakespeare - Second Witch - Macbeth

Halloween is almost upon us and we loooove Halloween around here!  I have been lucky this year - I received some wonderful gifts in a needlework exchange with internet friends.  Don't you love this design adapted from one by The Primitive Needle ?   


 And how about this earring and pin set that came with it?


Beth, one of our group of friends that gets together to stitch, made these as our favors when we were at her house this month:


Barbara, another friend from this group sent me this card, which is so perfect - four witches at a tea party!



Just the other day, Becky made me these - aren't they amazing?  Not only that, they MATCH THE EARRINGS AND PIN!







Now it's time to send Becky a thank you card, and I want to make one.  Here's a tutorial in case you'd like to do one, too.  I love these cards which are called Cobweb, Bird's Cage or Beehive cards!  I think a picture of a black bird in the middle would be very cool!


Victorian Cobweb Halloween Card Tutorial


Gather together all your materials:

1 piece of  card stock; 1 piece of  paper to match or coordinate; CD, saucer or other template for drawing a circle; 1/4-inch ribbon (multiply the circumference of the circle by four to determine how much ribbon to use); glue or double-sided tape; tassel  other embellishments as desired, such as ribbon, lace, sparkles, buttons, pipe cleaners, threads, pens etc.  and so on, ruler, pencil, scissors for paper and scissors for cutting metal threads.



On paper, use the cd to trace and cut out a circle.



On the card stock, draw a square a little larger than the diameter of your circle (in our case, your square will be 4 3/4 inches), and cut it out.



Find the center of the square - a really helpful tool for this sort of thing is a "centering ruler". 



In the center of the square, draw, stamp, or paste your design. In our case, we will glue down the spider’s “body” (a button) and place the legs.  Write any message you would like to have people see when the card is opened.

Use a strong glue to adhere your button to the center of the card.

I used DMC's new "Memory Thread" to make spider legs - but you could use black pipe cleaners or draw them in.

I glued the thread down with this glue - you can see how precisely you can place the glue with this nozzle!


Write a message around your spider, to be seen when the card is "opened".

Check to see what will show once you've placed your circle over your design.


On your circle write the message you want—what people will see before they “open” the card”, and decorate the paper with drawings, etc. (a light touch here).  It is nice to use a patterned paper that has a plain back and use the back as the front, letting a hint of the design show when it’s opened.   For a really professional look, you could use computer graphics and pictures.  I've just written out my simple message.



Fold your paper into quarters (but do NOT crease it—you want to be able to lay the paper flat and smooth again with no trace of the folds showing). 



Cut rounded slits 1/4" apart alternating between the folded edges. Just like cutting a paper snowflake its important not to cut all the way through to the other side.  Study the picture and be sure you understand this part before starting the cutting. Perhaps practice on a blank sheet.




Unfold the paper very carefully and smooth it out as best you can. 







Apply glue or double-sided tape to the underside of the cirlce, along the rim. (I used tape because it is easy to place and not as messy as glue.


Position the cobweb over the center of the card, firmly press down the glued edges.

It looked pretty plain, so I put the double-sided tape all around the rim on the outside too.

And added ribbon that I pressed down in some places and lifted up in others to make a ruching effect.

To end the ribbon, I added a little more double-sided tape to the top of the start of the ribbon, folded the end of the ribbon under and pressed it on top of the start.



Thread a needle with ribbon and push the needle through the center of the circle from above and come up again beside your first needle hole so that both ends of the ribbon are on the outside, looped through the center of the circle.  




Tie a pretty bow—this is how people will lift the spider’s web to see what lays in wait for them. 





To protect your card when mailing, you can place it in a CD jewel box, having pulled out the part that holds the cd, and use the box as a template to make  an envelope for it.  If mailing it, you can use the padded envelopes made especially for CDs.


Julie

New Sampler Books

There are two new sampler books out - we're so excited!  One is being released in conjunction with the Connecticut Historical Society's new exhibit and seminar:  

Connecticut Needlework: Women, Art, and Family, 1740-1840  The book is of the same name, and was written by:


Susan P. Schoelwer, Curator, George Washington’s Mount Vernon.





The second book is by our friend, Lorraine Mootz, who has long been connected with the Celle Museum in Germany.  The book has recently been released and we're so excited to get our copies! The text is in both German and English, and we have heard from Lorraine that it's been a labor of love done in collaboration with Dr. Inina Hundt: 

Samplers and Designs:Three Centuries of European Samplers. 




Here's a short description from Lorraine:
"Mustert├╝cher: Stickmuster aus drei Jahrhunderten / Samplers and Designs: Three Centuries of European Samplers...  will be a soft-cover book, 8.5 x 11.5 inches in size, with about 120 pages and 140 color photos mainly of the forty-four samplers with close-ups. The forty-four European samplers from ten countries (Great Britain, Germany, Denmark, France, Austria, Sweden, The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, and Italy) will be illustrated with explanatory texts to each in German and in English. At the back of the book there will be eight large folded pages with a black and white charts on either side of each page, thus the eight pages will contain sixteen charts for sixteen reproduction samplers from the ones included in the book."

To see a little more, click here.

We're not too sure of all the places where this book will be available in North America, but we do know that Mary Ann Locklear of Books & More will be carrying it:
10208 Spring Run Road
Chesterfield, VA 23831
phone--804-790-1765

If you're in Europe, Lorraine has supplied this information:
Leopold Stocker Verlag,
Att Herrn Franz Koiner
Hofgasse 5
A-8011 Graz, AUSTRIA
franz.koiner@stocker-verlag.com,
Tel.: 0043/316/82 16 36-131.
Be sure to mention how happy you are to have this sampler book available in both German and English - it can be hard to convince publishers that such measures are important to buyers.

Have fun reading!

We are off in the wee hours tomorrow for Connecticut - we'll be there a week.  We are going with several friends from this area, to meet up with old friends from afar, and perhaps to make new ones?  We'll be attending this seminar, plus touring the area and visiting several museums and historical societies and taking a look at their needlework collections.  We'll be home next Tuesday night, tired but happy, I'm sure.  Look for news of our travels on next week's blog.  Meanwhile, enjoy your Halloween Revelries!

Becky and Julie

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